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Another Marvelous Thing Paperback – June 5, 2001

4.4 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In her deceptively simple, witty style, Colwin (Happy All the Time, Family Happiness continues to write with perception about the bliss and pain of people in love. Her protagonists in these eight linked stories are Josephine (Billy) Delielle and Francis Clemens, both intelligent achievers happily married to their respective spouses, who fall into an unlikely but tender affair when they meet in the offices of the highbrow journal to which they both contribute articles on economics. Billy is young, sloppy, often grumpy, unsentimental, determinedly minimalist in her tastes in food and clothing. Francis is older, sophisticated, urbane, committed to neatness and routine. The stories depict some of the same events told from their differing points of view; despite passion and familiarity, each discovers the essential unknowableness of the other. Both know the relationship will have to end, but the ache of parting is ameliorated for Billy by the consolidation of her marriage through the birth of a baby. Billy and Francis are somewhat improbable as lovers, and Colwin studs the text with too many pithy apothegms about the indelible effects of a love affair, but there are many moments in this slim volume when the reader is touched and moved. March 31
Copyright 1986 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Library Journal

Here is another treat for admirers of Colwin's Happy All the Time. As before, she traces the subtleties of love, both married and adulterous; but this time she adds another marvelous thingthe birth of a baby. The book consists of eight linked stories (five of which appeared in the New Yorker) tracing the course of a love affair between professional associates, each married to someone else. It sparkles with Colwin's customary wit, delicacy, and intelligence. Polly Warren, formerly with Southern Methodist Univ. in Paris
Copyright 1986 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Perennial; Reprint edition (June 5, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060958944
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060958947
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.3 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #216,997 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By J. K. Bailey on December 20, 2005
Format: Paperback
I was a fan of Laurie Colwin's writing from Gourmet Magazine. When I found out she also wrote fiction, I rushed to find some. This was the first I came across, and let me assure you it is a wonderful book, and a marvelous introduction to a unique writer. She is a supremely adult writer, both in her subjects and the way she thinks and speaks to us about them. The nearest comparison I can make is Raymond Carver, but where Carver was spare and dark, she is loquacious and light. To read her work is to come to know that ferociously brilliant best friend who always brought out the best in you when the two of you would sit up late, talking out all the important stuff. Her writing creates such a personal bond that on hearing of her far-too-premature death, the first knife that goes through you is for her daughter and husband, the second for the voice that the world must go on without.
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Format: Paperback
If I had known what this book was going to be about, I would have dropped it like a hot potato. Sounds like Chick Lit! Ewww!!! But Ms. Colwin is a truly gifted writer, and I found myself caring about her characters, and actually empathizing with them. Sort of a tough sell when they are having an adulterous affair. Life is messy and complicated and beautiful and wonderous--all at once. She packs a lot in this short book. I'm sorry she is no longer with us, giving us more great stories.
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Format: Hardcover
This is the first Laurie Colwin I've read and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I agree with another reviewer that the stories overlap but, I think, when it does it is always subtly different and reveals the characters a little more deeply. Two married people meet at a social gathering, quickly discover they are incompatibly different, and begin a two year affair anyway. Billy, the young woman, is about as introverted as a person can be, keeping all her feelings deep inside and spurning any kind of social life. Francis, the older man, is social, extroverted and very open with his feelings for Billy and anything else. If this interests you, then you should pick up this great little book :)
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By lhaver on November 28, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Amazon's description above is incorrect. It is not about two people who fall in love, get married and have a child. Not even close.

I, on the other hand, have actually read the book--several times. I have been a Laurie Colwin fan for years, and this is one of my favorites.
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